This page is dedicated to the many performing artists, past and present, whose talents have helped to enrich the lives of those in the Hermann community.
Music has been part of the Hermann way of life ever since the first Germans settled here in 1837. The early settlers had a passion for music, and they brought with them a library of compositions written by famous Germans. Eduard Muehl, a schoolteacher, musician, poet, and newspaperman, was among the first settlers, and he encouraged the preservation of the pure German language, German church music, and German customs.
By June 1839 he organized a Musik Chor Mit Blech Instrumenten, a choral group with instruments, and since that time Hermann has never been without a band and music of some kind. In December 1843, Mr. Muehl organized the Hermanner Mannerchor. The following year, the trustees of the town voted to allow them to use the schoolhouse for their vocal exercises.
The Turnverein Band gave its first performance in 1868. The 'turning' was physical training for both young and old, and much prestige went along with being a member of the Turnverein. The Turnverein Band played any time the organization gave a program.
A Harmonie Society was organized in 1875 to educate the townspeople in vocal music and give concerts. Four concerts were held each year with proceeds used to purchase a piano and pay a director. Under the direction of Professor Stork, the Harmonie developed into one of the finest musical societies in the State.
The Apostle Band, formed in 1885, consisted of 12 members who played instruments imported from Mainz, Germany. The band frequently honored the citizens of Hermann on their birthdays, anniversaries, or homecomings. Their weekly band practices provided entertainment for the townspeople. They usually were held on Friday evenings. Some of the most popular numbers were zither duets. This municipal band occasionally was called upon to host band festivals, and concerts often were held at the Concert Hall. The Concert Hall was the setting for the Apostle Band's 25th anniversary.
By the 1920s, the Enterprise Band had taken over the traditions of the earlier bands. The Enterprise Band was the forerunner of the current Hermann Municipal Band, which formed in 1946 under the direction of B.A. Wagner. The tax-supported band now plays three performances a year in its new home, the Clara Eitmann Messmer
The funds to construct the amphitheater and landscape the surrounding grounds were given by Mrs. Messmer. Claiming to have had a good life in Hermann, she wanted to give something back to the community she has called home since 1971. Her thank you was to provide a place where the public could enjoy musical and theatrical performances.
For many years the old bandstand (circa 1864) in the Hermann City Park was a popular spot for band concerts, along with several music halls throughout the community. Still standing, the bandstand is a reminder of the importance of music to the fun-loving Germans. The new amphitheater, dedicated in May of 2006, is keeping those musical traditions alive. From late spring to early fall, musical and theatrical groups are scheduled to perform at the amphitheater almost every weekend, weather permitting